NEW ORLEANS CRIMINAL FORFEITURE ATTORNEY
Elizabeth Bagert Carpenter, Esq. — New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorney
DISPOSITION OF PROPERTY SEIZED
IN CONNECTION WITH CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS — La. R.S. 15:41
If there is a specific statute concerning the disposition of the seized property, the property shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions thereof.
If there is no such specific statute, the following governs the disposition of property seized in connection with a criminal proceeding, which is not to be used as evidence or is no longer needed as evidence:
(1) The seized property shall be returned to the owner, unless a statute declares the property to be contraband, in which event the court shall order the property destroyed if the court determines that its destruction is in the public interest; otherwise,
(2) If the seized property is contraband, and the court determines that it should not be destroyed, or if the owner of noncontraband property does not claim it within six months after its seizure, the court shall order:
A sale of the property at a nonjudicial public sale or auction, if the court concludes that such a sale will probably result in a bid greater than the costs of the sale. The proceeds of the sale shall be administered by the court and used exclusively for the maintenance, renovation, preservation, or improvement of the court building, facilities, or records system.
If the court concludes that the cost of a public sale would probably exceed the highest bid, the court may order the property transferred to a public or a nonprofit institution or destroyed or may make such other court ordered disposition as it deems appropriate.
Where the release of seized property is sought by a person claiming to be the owner, it shall be released only upon motion contradictorily with the clerk of court. In all other cases the court may either render an ex parte order for the disposition of the property as herein provided on motion of any interested person, or on its own motion, or the court may require a motion contradictorily with the apparent owner or the person in possession of the property at the time of the seizure.
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, an official criminalistics laboratory may destroy any controlled dangerous substance, controlled dangerous substance paraphernalia, or both, in its possession without an order of court after a period of five years from the date of seizure. Any criminalistics laboratory intending to destroy a controlled dangerous substance, controlled dangerous substance paraphernalia, or both, pursuant to this Subsection shall give the seizing agency and the district attorney thirty days notice prior to such destruction. In the case that the seizing agency or the district attorney object to such destruction, no destruction shall occur.
If you are facing a criminal forfeiture proceeding in Louisiana, contact a New Orleans Criminal Attorney. We are ready to start fighting for you today!